One night of snow changed everything for Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area’s opening plans.
Bogus Basin received 8-10 inches of snow overnight, after plans were announced for opening weekend.
The snow allowed Bogus to add the Morning Star chairlift to the mix on Saturday and announce the addition of the Pine Creek chair on Sunday (trail map here). Plus, the ski area will operate seven days a week immediately instead of easing into the season with just weekends as originally planned.
The Coach (beginner slope), Deer Point and Showcase lifts also are open Saturday with Showcase and Ridge runs groomed. More lifts could be added as soon as Sunday.
“We had 8-10 inches of snow overnight — that’s kind of what was forecasted, but we hadn’t quite been getting those forecasted inches prior to that,” General Manager Brad Wilson said. “But it came in a big way. ... We’ll go seven days a week, providing this snow holds up and conditions are good. We’ll evaluate it Sunday for sure but I anticipate running seven days a week at this point.”
[Related: Read our previous coverage of winter sports openers here.]
Wilson had struggled all day Friday with what terrain to open. He waited until about 4 p.m. to decide to open Deer Point, the primary lift from the Simplot Lodge.
“It was tough,” he said. “We had people up skiing at about noon yesterday. We were trying to make the call and it really wasn’t quite there yet.”
About 18 hours later, he was being congratulated on the decision to open Deer Point. About two dozen skiers were in line at 8:30 a.m., a half-hour before opening, despite fog and a wintry mix of snow and sleet. Bogus has about 20,000 season-pass holders.
“The pent-up demand — they almost broke the website,” Wilson said. “They kept going to the snow marker and to the live feeds. It’s been crazy. It has been wonderful. This was the day we anticipated opening. When we budgeted for this year, Dec. 10 was opening day.”
The wet snow that fell Friday night and Saturday morning was a double benefit for the ski area because of the moisture content.
“This is perfect base-building snow,” Wilson said. “It’s dense. ... Today will be winter conditions, obviously. The snow will be a little on the heavy side.”
Night skiing is scheduled to begin Dec. 17. Pioneer Lodge will begin food and beverage service Wednesday.
BRUNDAGE TO OPEN BLUEBIRD ON SUNDAY
Brundage Mountain in McCall will open the Bluebird lift for top-to-bottom skiing Sunday with limited grooming. Temptation, a beginner-level run that covers more than two miles, will be groomed. The rest of the Bluebird terrain from Temptation to Northwest Passage will be ungroomed, powder skiing for experts.